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Estimating bluestone installation

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by plantace, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. plantace

    plantace LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    It's been a long time since I have installed any bluestone, and I never did that much to begin with. This winter, I'm trying to come up with some ballpark s.f. prices and/or production rates (i.e. xx.xx s.f./hr/person). I work in New England, and would only install on a dry base ~8" deep or so, depending upon the underlying material.
    I realize that the price depends upon the degree of difficulty, but assume that it is the typical dimensional (i.e. regular sizes) stone in a basic pattern requiring little cutting. Can anybody help? Many thanks.
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    How much does your bluestone cost you? Is this irregular bluestone or cut? There are alot of factors that go into pricing that only you know and control i.e labor burden, profit marging, overhead. I would stay away from sq. ft. pricing. Price every job individually. IMO
  3. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    pattern flagstone on dust $22 square foot

    extraordinary debris removal or excavation wouls be an additional $2-3 sq foot
  4. plantace

    plantace LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    CGLAND, I ultimately agree with you as far as the s.f. price vs. true job costing.Square foot pricing gets you in the ballpark, to see how your price stacks up against competition. Assuming everybody (bona fide contractors, that is) pays insurance, taxes, truck & equipment costs, etc., and assuming that everyone pays the same in material costs, then the install price p.s.f. should be fairly close. Of course, there are always lowballers as well as highballers.

    That's why I also asked about production rates, which I think are a better method to determine what to charge. However, if you don't have experience with a task, then estimating time to complete it is difficult, a guess at best. Sure, as you gain experience your numbers will improve, but having average production rates beforehand will save money and aggravation.

    Is there a site that might show prod. rates? I have a lot of experience in planting, and can contribute my knowledge of that. I have bought the RS Means book on landscape estimating, but don't find their prod. rates to be relevant to residential work in general.

    Anyway, any help would be appreciated.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    $22 per SF dry laid here on Cape Cod would price you out of the market. Even the upper end companies stay below $20. $16-$18 is a good market rate. We are a booming landscape market with a very sizable and growing affluent summer population. $100k + landscapes are very very common, but there are limits to what you can get for routine work like bluestone. There again, some of that might be due to the fact that we have literally hundreds of companies that do dry laid bluestone. It may be harder to get a qualified installer in other places, so the price can be higher. Also, bluestone is continually supplied here and the prices are competitive, where it might cost more in northern New England.

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